Photo: FEI/JON STROUD MEDIA
In a surprise turn of events, Mexico has won the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland in Dublin.
‘Dream come true’
They arrived as the underdogs and took on many of the best nations in the world, including the reining European Champions, who were competing on home turf.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Federico Fernandez, who posted two four-fault scores. “Since we got the invitation we have not stopped dreaming about this moment. We worked hard to be here and we enjoyed every second.”
It looked like Ireland would have it their own way when they cruised into the lead on a zero score at the halfway stage. Italy was snapping at their heels on four faults followed by USA, Mexico and France who were all on eight.
Feeling the pressure
However, team Mexico turned the competition on its head when Eugenio Garza Perez (Victer Finn), Enrique Gonzalez (Chacna) and Patricio Pasquel (Babel) all jumped clear second time out.
The pressure was on the Irish and Italians, who both added four faults to their final scores to complete on a total of 12, alongside France.
It wasn’t a good day for Team GB who finished sixth on 21 faults, with the only clear from Holly Smith and Heart’s Destiny.
William Funnell and Billy Buckingham had an uncharacteristic three down in the first round, while Amanda Derbyshire – who put in a great performance at Hickstead a few weeks ago – had a total of 12 over both rounds.
Nations Cup Final
Today’s result confirms Belgium as winners of the Europe Division 1 series with Ireland finishing a close second. Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Great Britain and Sweden fill the next five places on the leaderboard and all seven countries will compete at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October.
Germany and Italy have missed the cut and the Spanish who have finished last at the end of the 2018 season will be relegated to Europe Division 2 next year.
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